Category Archives: Humor

Adventures of the Three Amigos.

Hi there! This is Dylan again. I’ve been itching to talk to you and I’m grabbing the opportunity now that mom is too busy to watch her laptop. If you ask me, her priorities are not quite right. She prefers to work when she could be blogging! And to travel when she could be giving me belly rubs right here at home! Can you imagine?

The national mall ud150She didn’t take her camera, but yesterday I saw this picture on her phone. She must have been very far because it doesn’t look anything like Florida. It’s dull and foggy and there’s no sun! But from what I can see, this site would’ve been potentially interesting to explore. Sniffing around that big stick in the middle and the large house in the background would’ve given me lots of information. And perhaps even revealed some secrets, had she brought me along. But to be honest, I think I had far more fun than she did. I stayed with my dog park friend Saki. She is a beautiful Shiba Inu girl and we get along very well. But I have to confess there was one tiny mishap on my part. You see, she got a little jealous when I was trying to teach her how to snuggle. Really close to her mom. She may have misunderstood my intentions.

Our mutual friend Eli, who lives next door, came to visit. And that’s when the fun started.

the three amigos ud150_edited-2Eli hatched a plan. He’s such an adventurer. He suggested we’d play the three amigos. And we’d travel south of the border. To the neighbor’s yard. I thought that was a great idea…until I discovered the wall. But Eli showed us how it’s done and jumped to the other side. Just like that! So I decided to follow. I ran really fast and jumped really high…but reached only half way up the wall. What a bummer.

Saki was wiser. She looked at the wall and concluded right away it was too high. She is such an independent thinker. My sombrero off to her. When we didn’t follow, Eli came back. And Saki suggested we’d go to the dog park instead. Although familiar territory anything can happen there. And the three amigos were ready. Saki must have twisted her mom’s arm because she took us there twice (!) that day. I got to ride in a BMW. You know, like UberBLACK. It was so much fun.

Dylan relaxing UD150_edited-1I have to admit I was quite exhausted from all the excitement when mom came to pick me up the next day. I tried to be attentive to her, but I think she noticed. I skipped following her to the bathroom. Truth to be told, I spent quite a bit of time relaxing on the memory foam mattress she bought me last week. I can highly recommend it. Great for aching muscles. Five stars.

mama and papa osprey at the nest feb 9 UD150Mom missed a lot goings on at the salt marsh and at the dog park. I filled her in on the hottest park rumors and the latest marsh news, including that the Osprey couple now spends most of their time at the nest. My assessment is that Mama Sandy will lay eggs any day now. Papa Stanley hardly leaves her side. He’s a trooper. Always on guard so Sandy can take all the naps she needs.

Anyway, I also spotted the Mayor. He flew across the marsh and then settled in his office on an islet close to the dog park. He was focused on his work. Not even one glance in my direction.

the mayor UD150Then I saw a Night Heron who was wide awake. I wonder if he was jet-lagged and had lost his circadian rhythm. Like mom does when she comes home from her long trips. She messes up my rhythm too. I never know if or when we’ll go to sleep. And in the morning I can’t get her up. Hello! It’s bathroom time! Nothing.

night heron ud150_edited-1I have to tell you my patience was tried when I came across a family of White Ibis. They walked deliberately along my trail. Like begging for attention.

ibis family ud150But I stayed put and let them go. In my book, that’s heroic behavior worth many treats. Chicken to be exact. I hope mom will compensate me later. Now that I’ve been transparent and told the story just like it was.

Dylan 2 sits still ud150That’s all for today. Mom is back and we’re slowly settling into our routines. Unlike mom, I love routine. Up, out, eat, nap. Repeat. Simple, safe and very pleasant.

Be good now. Lots of love, D.

Fish Trouble for the Tern Couple. A Photo Story.

I spotted this Royal Tern couple on the beach in the middle of all the spring break activity – and just couldn’t leave their story for my next post. I hope you enjoy.

tern couple 1 UD114
You brought this fish for me, right?
tern couple 2 ud114
Go on, give it to me!
tern couple 3 ud114
Hey, I’m waiting…
tern couple 4 ud114
I mean it…give me the fish already!
tern couple 5 ud114
…I’m waiting…don’t make me angry…
tern couple 6b ud114
NOOO! What you doing? I want my fish!
tern couple 7 ud114
Ha! You won’t get away from me…
tern couple 8 ud114
Okay…we can sit and sulk here at the water’s edge … until I get my fish.

 

I’m Not Spoiled. But I’ve Trained Mom Very Well.

Donk-glonk-thud. That was not the sound of a piece of cheese falling on the kitchen floor or dad opening the lid of his Greek yoghurt. No, this was something else. I had not yet figured out what that noise could be when I heard mom yelling. *&#@! And she doesn’t yell. Or even raise her voice. Not normally. Alarm bells went off and I rushed into the kitchen. I found mom sitting on the floor holding her right foot, or rather the toes of her right foot. Doggy 2 ud111And I got it. One of the noisy machines she’s been using had fallen on her toes. Poor mom. That’s what you get when you don’t listen. I had told her it was completely unnecessary to clean the house. She could have been massaging my ears instead and nothing like this would’ve ever happened. But I didn’t say I told you so. I just couldn’t. Instead I gave her a lick right on the cheek.

Anyway, she’s not been the only one suffering. Since last week, my walks have been cut short. Initially I could only get out onto the yard. To sniff the same trees over and over. That was boring. Eventually we walked on the sidewalk and I could read some of my newspapers in the grass. But then mom started limping and we had to turn around. After half a mile! And not one trip to the doggy park in the last 10 days.

I was living in the hope that I could skip my grooming appointment. But no such luck. I like my groomer a lot, but I don’t like the cutting, washing and drying. Luckily mom sat and waited for me. She was busy shooting the new dog paintings on the walls of the Grooming Shop.

But I have to admit, it always feels nice when it’s over. The clean smell is good. So coming home, I thought the worst was over. And it was – for a few days. We had family and friends visiting. I was basking in all the attention and enjoying frequent tummy rubs. All was good until early this morning, when mom told me I would need to see my doctor to get my teeth cleaned. And to get my shots. Not good news. I didn’t even want to look at mom after she told me this. Why would I need to go through such an ordeal? Why me?

dylan before tooth cleaning ud111Somehow mom managed to get me into her car and off we went. On empty stomach and all.

I have to confess I don’t remember much of today. I only remember the nice staff at the vet’s office before I fell asleep. It seems I was sleeping for a long while. But I can’t say I’m feeling rested. Or great. I’m groggy and I’m hungry. And my mouth hurts. I hope mom will make me a soft Crème de poulet for dinner. After going through all this I’ve earned something special, don’t you think?

Dylan after anesthesia ud111In fact, I’m still so confused that I don’t even want to jump up on my favorite sofa. I might fail. And that would be embarrassing. I’m just laying down on the hand-me-down bed in mom’s office.  No pictures please. I know this too shall pass.

I want to leave you all with a quote I found at my groomer’s. Something I want to encourage you to ponder. It just might have a useful message. I will discuss this with mom more in-depth when I feel better. And she is back to our normal routines. Hopefully tomorrow.

quote 3 ud111Much love, Dylan

Breaking the Law. But It’s Complicated.

Friends, I have a confession to make. I’ve been breaking the law at least on one occasion this past weekend. But before you judge, I need to tell you it’s not that straight forward. It’s complicated. I’m guilty, but not guilty. You see, last week mom was very busy with work. That means she didn’t have the time to go on what she calls ‘photo walks’. In plain English, walks without me to wherever she pleases.

So on Saturday, she said it was a good day for a walk. Everyone walked on this Saturday, she said. And in solidarity, we should walk as well. Even if it meant a walk to the doggy park at the salt marsh. Although it was windy, I was all for it.

dylan-in-dog-park-ud104The doggy park was quiet. Only two other dogs. On the ‘large dog’ side of the park. A Pit Bull and a Golden Retriever. I sniffed at both through the separating fence. But otherwise I was running solo, and that was fine. Lots of news to ‘read’ in the grass.

dylan-2-at-dog-park-ud104On our way back home through the salt marsh, mom was walking very slowly. I had to sit all the time. She was spotting one ‘friend’ after another, and photographing them. Oh, there’s the Reddish Egret, she would say. Sit.

reddish-egret-2-ud104And there’s the Tri-colored Heron! Sit. I did. Although I could’ve made a run for this bird. She was so close to the shore. But I’ve learned mom doesn’t want that. Happy mom, happy dog. And bird.

tri-colored-heron-ud104We walked around the marsh. And there she was, a Little Blue Heron who was curious about something. Her neck all stretched out.

littel-blue-heron-1-ud104Of course mom would need to investigate. And she found it! A bird hiding in a tree. That’s a Green Heron, rarely seen at the salt marsh, she said. I had to respect that. So I sat before mom even asked me to.

green-heron-ud104And that’s when we arrived at the Nest. I sat. And tried not to breathe too hard. You see, when I pant mom says her hand holding my leash is shaking. That means no good photos. Unhappy mom. So I sat still for one whole minute.

papa-and-mama-osprey-at-the-nest-ud104Mom’s always talking to the birds up there. That’s silly because they never respond. They just look at her.

mama-osprey-ud104And she’s all happy for the acknowledgement. So be it. I get to run at the doggy park and she gets her photos.

But yesterday it got worse. Let me explain. You see, on Saturday mom had discovered that some people were kiteboarding on the bay. I assisted her in taking some shots from our terrace.

three-windsurfers-portrait-ud104And yesterday she discovered they were back. The weather was really stormy. No weather for a walk, but I take what I can. So she took her camera and out we went, onto the bay side. I looked down from the sea wall and saw the water splashing high up, almost up to my feet. And white hats everywhere.

bay-before-the-stom-ud104A few tiny boats were struggling against the wind on the bay. Someone had already fallen into the water. You could offer me ten chicken biscuits and I wouldn’t go there!

young-sailors-2-ud104And that’s when it happened. Mom took me right onto the bay beach. You see there’s a sign that says dogs are not welcome there. Although the dog symbol is hardly recognizable, I can see there’s a red cross over it. Earlier we’ve always turned away right there. But not yesterday. Mom spotted this kiteboarder and that was it. We went just a little bit on the sand. She made me break the law. And sit on the sand.

kiteboarder closeup ud104.jpgI tried to be invisible, while she took her shots. But couldn’t help marveling about the man who flew high above the waves…and the buildings on the other side of the bay. Almost like a bird.

kiteboarder 2 ud104.jpgLuckily there was no enforcement of the law and we could run home pushing against the wind. I told mom this was an one time incident. It would not be repeated. I hope she listened to me.

dylan-december-2016-ud104In any case, I’m safe and relaxing at home. I wish you all a week filled with goodness. Love, Dylan

Summer Menu. Or What’s Cooking?

I’m a fairly good cook. Not entirely self-proclaimed. Being a decent cook certainly has its plusses. Friends will happily accept dinner invitations, and nobody orders delivery just before meal time. But it also has its minuses. You see, I love eating out. Hubby might say It’s your birthday, let’s go out. Or maybe it’s Mother’s Day. Or a special meetup with out-of-town friends. That’s about it.

So what does a girl do? She develops an array of effective strategies to get out anyway. This week, for example, I have two lunch appointments in reputable restaurants. Cheers to that.

Happy hour 3 ud71To tell you the truth, deep inside I love cooking. But I’m not into following recipes. I find it boring. Following a recipe leaves no room for creativity. It also requires all kinds of measuring devices and detailed mathematical conversion skills. And I’m a big picture person. So that’s not for me. But don’t get me wrong, I love reading recipes from all over the world. They give me ideas.

flounder fillets ud71Anyway, last night I invented a new dish, suitably light for hot summer evenings. Filet de Flet à crabe. Or flounder fillets topped with a crab meat concoction (a heap of crab meat, one egg, olive oil mayonnaise, a few drops of Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, mozzarella cheese, breadcrumbs, one poblano pepper, one shallot, black pepper and salt). To be served with spicy baked zucchini, tomatoes and if preferred, some cheese-lemon sauce on the side. After 35 minutes in 400F/200C oven – bon appetite.

filet de flet UD71Everyone will survive and accolades will follow. I know.

Tonight it might be pizza. I like the artistic freedom to throw tasty toppings on a super thin crust. After so many years in Africa, my favorite is the Kilimanjaro. BBQ-alfredo-mustard sauce and extra cheese to remind us of the yellow grass on the surrounding savannah, then small heaps of thinly sliced beef fillet for mini-mountains, topped with snow of feta cheese. A few chopped green bell peppers for bushes and some pineapple chunks for lions lurking around. And mushrooms for other animals. So yummy it requires a long after-dinner walk on the savannah….or at the salt marsh.

So that’s what’s cooking at my place.

island in the bay ud71Figuratively speaking, more things are cooking in the summer heat. Like a meetup with a bird photographer/blogging friend and his family early this week, family visits, photo hikes and overseas travel to cooler latitudes. And also on the summer menu: just relaxing. Recharging mind, body and soul.

What’s cooking at your place? Literally or figuratively.

Sunset Musings. And Naming Sweepstakes.

In 2014 Sandy and Stanley had one chick, a girl. I named her Diamond because she had a “necklace” that was diamond-shaped. In this picture taken in June 2014, she is carrying a half-eaten fish after a fishing trip with Stanley.

Diamond flying 2014 ud63Those who have followed my posts a bit longer may remember that I thought Diamond came to visit her parents in December last year. This is the only picture I got of her, taken right against the sun, but you can see her “necklace” was still there.

maybe Diamond ud63.jpgThen last year, Sandy and Stanley had three chicks. You, the friends of this Osprey family, named them Lofty, Aspire and Sindile. Lofty was the self-assured older brother, Aspire was the middle sister who aspired to do everything Lofty did, and Sindile was the sweet little sister.

last years osprey family ud63They all grew up nicely and fledged. Then in about four to five weeks they all learned to fish for themselves and left the nest. Sandy and Stanley were exhausted and went on a well deserved vacation.

Last years chicks ud63You may remember I thought Aspire also came back to visit her parents last December. What a beautiful young lady she had become.

aspire ud63So this year they had two chicks. The little one was born at least a week after the firstborn, which in itself was strange, and unfortunately she did not survive.

two osprey chicks ud63The beautiful firstborn fledged last week and now deserves to be named. I don’t think she’d like to be referred to as “the chick of 2016” when she comes to visit her parents later on all grown up.

osprey chick ud60Last night I took my light camera along for our evening walk to the doggy park and took a few sunset pictures using the dog stabilizer, pictured below.

dylan dog stabilizer ud63All my pictures are all little “soft” as the stabilizer was disturbed by some squirrels and other irresistible attractions along the trail. But you can see the Osprey chick was alert and looking intently at something on the ground, while Mama Sandy was enjoying some rest warmed by the last rays of sun.

mama and osprey chick at sunsset ud63I had to look right into the sun to see what she was staring at. Shading my eyes, I could finally distinguish a blue-gray shape hunkering behind some glittering long grass. The younger Great Blue Heron was in attendance. And the chick was keeping an eye on him.

young GBH 3 UD63

We also found Miss Rosa. She was standing on one foot and sleeping.

roseate spoonbill 2 ud63And walking back from the doggy park, we also spotted a Snowy Egret still hunting in the shallow waters.

snowy egret ud63Walking back home, I decided to take a swing on the bay side. The last rays colored everything vibrantly so I snapped a picture of the Sailing Center pier, while Dylan was looking right into the water from the edge of the sea wall.

sunset on the bay and papa osprey ud63Only after taking the picture, I realized there was something familiar. I zoomed closer while making sure Dylan didn’t intend to do a somersault into the water below. And caught a wet Papa Stanley resting on the railing, after what I believed was a failed dive for supper. I thought he looked like a painting.

papa osprey ud63Back to the name issue. What’s it gonna be? I leave that up to you. Please propose fun names for this girl in the comments. Last year I found it difficult to judge all those great proposals, so this year we are going to do a lottery, or sweepstakes. All you have to do is to put one name (not yet proposed by others) in the comments by next Monday, June 6.  I will then print them all out,  put them into a hat and Dylan will do the drawing. Dylan two weeks at home 3We’ve agreed that I will tie the name slips onto small halves of his favorite cookies. And the name on the first cookie piece he picks will be the winner. That should be fair. The only challenge with this procedure will be for me to take away the hat before he eats all the pieces.

Now you might be wondering about the price. No? I will not keep you guessing. The winner will get my 8 x 8″photo book about last year’s nesting season in hard cover, My Life as an Osprey. It’s in print already, so please hurry up 🙂 The winner will be announced next Wednesday.

osprey book 2015 seasonDylan and I are hoping you’ll come up with some great sounding names that even he can pronounce. Thanks in advance for putting you creative thinking hat on. Be good now. Tiny & Dylan

 

Oops! I totally missed it.

Sitting here enjoying a hot after-dinner Christmas glögg.  A Swedish tradition. The spiced raisins and almonds at the bottom of my glass mug taste cinnamon and clover. Delicious. I’m off tonight from this month’s serious work crunch.

terrace christmas lights ud36But it’s already dark and too late to go see the birds at the salt marsh. Haven’t managed to get any such privileged breaks so far this week. No new pictures to share or feathered stories to tell. But since Thursday has (kind of) been my posting day, I thought I’d let it all hang out. We’re among friends, as Ben Huberman put it in his post about this week’s photo challenge: Oops! So here we go. My biggest oops in the history of salt marsh stories.

black-crowned night heron UD36It’s a beautiful day early March this year. Everybody is going about their business as usual. Mama Sandy is sitting on the eggs and Papa Stanley is keeping her company at the nest.

male osprey at the nestAnd I’m keeping company to both of them. Suddenly Stanley stands up. He turns around. Flexes his wings and talons.

papa osprey turns ud36He looks over my head intensely towards the bay behind me.

papa osprey faces the danger ud36I am still only focused on his move and wonder what that excitement is all about. What I don’t see is this (photo taken a few weeks later).

young blue heron coming in ud 36Stanley takes off, staring right above my head. His is talons are ready.

papa osprey faces danger ud36Action! Whatever will happen I’m ready! I see Stanley meeting a big bird in the air, just three feet above the nest. His talons are pounding the attacker. But my camera doesn’t see it. It needes a second or two to reset itself after I’d shot the full sequence. NO! Not now. Please. Come back!

Papa chaces the gbh ud36papa osprey in chase ud36When it finally wakes up after the two longest, most dramatic seconds in the world, it finds Stanley diving down to the marsh for the second time. To teach the silly young man a lesson.

papa osprey dives after the egg thief ud36What an event! Stanley successfully defends Sandy and the eggs in the nest…and I miss it. The trust in my photographic skills gets a bigger dent than the leg and butt of the young culprit.

blue heron the culprit ud36But I recovered. Oops happens. And just a few weeks later, when the eggs had hatched and the little nestlings (who’d grow up to three mighty birds) were in the nest with Sandy, I witnessed another impending attack by the same silly bird. But this time Sandy was on her watch and thwarted his attack before he even got off the ground. And this time my camera didn’t sleep.

mama osprey prevents attack by blue heron ud36blue heron goes down UD36But did the young Blue Heron learn his lesson? That remains to be seen when the nesting season starts again in a few weeks. I hope to get some fresh news for you over the weekend.

I think it’s time for another cup of glögg. You’ll find an impressive collection of oops and disasters here.